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Could Bedford council's taxi tyre regulations be a sign of things to come?  02/04/2015

This week saw the threat of taxi driver strike action in the Bedford area, after taxi drivers threatened to walk out in the New Year over plans to introduce tougher tyre regulations for taxi drivers.

The drivers are upset at new plans outlined by the council which would make the minimum legal limit for taxi driver's tyres 2.5mm, which is well above the 1.6mm national legal limit. The original plans stated 3mm, but this was reduced after an angry council meeting, which saw many drivers storming out.

The meeting had to be moved because over 100 taxi drivers turned up, and with the 30 minute question time kept to just 30 minutes, drivers who had still not asked their questions fled in anger.

The move by Bedford council could spread around the country, and if taxi drivers are forced to obey the new limits, how long will it be until everyone is made to change their tyres earlier. While driving with tyres with 1.6mm tread depth is legal, it is not as safe as driving with a 3mm or 4mm tread depth, and this is one of the main arguments campaigners make.

The Bedford general licensing committee also want to bring in other compulsory regulations for licensed cabs in the area, including CCTV and driving tests for some drivers. Initial plans for a strike this week were called off after 11th hour talks with the council bought some respite, but many are still angry at the plans and are planning a 12 hour strike in the New Year instead.

If the motion is passed to increase the limit, it may not be long before every driver has to change their tyres before they reach 2.5mm, making huge changes to the tyre laws for the first time in several decades.

With winter well and truly here, now is the perfect time to change your tyres and make sure you have the best possible grip you can get. Many drivers change their tyres before they reach 3mm depth, in accordance with expert advice on tyre safety.